Tests for Accident Proneness


    UNDER the title “Tests for Accident Proneness”, the Industrial Health Research Board has published the results of a further investigation into the factors involved in “accident proneness” which have engaged its attention for several years (Medical Research Council: Industrial Health Research Board. Report No. 68: Tests for Accident Proneness. Pp. iv + 37. London: H.M. Stationery Office, 1933. 9d. net). Previous work had established that certain individuals are inherently more liable to sustain industrial accidents than others exposed to the same risk. By the investigations of E. Farmer, E. G. Chambers and F. J. Kirk now reported, it has been established from experiments with groups of dockyard apprentices and naval artificers that, within the groups studied, poor sesthetokinetic co-ordination (defined as the ability to do certain sensori-motor tests) is associated with a liability to sustain an undue number of accidents. The results do not suggest that sesthetokinetic coordination is associated with accident proneness in all occupations, although it is probably associated with it in groups doing similar work to those tested, Deficiency in this function, however, only accounted for a part of the accidents sustained, and it is evident that only one of the factors involved in accident proneness has thus far been isolated and evaluated. Even this, however, makes a definite step towards the practical goal of detecting beforehand those specially liable to accident and warning them against entering dangerous occupations. No significant relation was observed between intelligence and accidents in any of the groups, and in two of them accident proneness did not decrease with age and experience. It does not follow, however, that in groups employed on different work, variations in intelligence may not play a part in accident proneness.

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